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Today's Sports

  • A new approach

     

    Surprises are rarely neutral:  They can be good or they can be bad.

    For Steve Mills, Jefferson Forest's new head coach of the girls team, his early-season surprises clearly fall in the latter category.

    Mills found out early in his tenure that he would begin his inaugural campaign absent two of the team's best players from last year.  Guards Cassidy Ratliff and Katie Cousins have opted not to play roundball this season.  Instead, the duo will focus on soccer, a sport in which they have proven acumen.

  • Sister act

     

    Teams should be family.

    In the case of the Staunton River Lady Eagles, that is a literal truism.

    If the Lady Eagles are going to make much of a mark on the hardwoods this season, they'll likely be led to do so by two pairs of sisters.

    The Cawley and Stephens sisters should bring that sense of family to the team.

    Britney and Whitney Cawley are twin sisters and are both seniors.  Sydney Stephens is a senior who will be joined by junior sis Asia.

  • What'll it be, Ladies?

     

    Liberty's Seminole foes shall be challenged this year to keep up with the Joneses.

    That would be Mikalah Jones, the Lady Minutemen's preseason candidate for Seminole Player of the Year consideration.

    That would also be Mike Jones, the Liberty head coach, who also happens to be Mikalah's father.

    The good news is Jones has nearly everyone back from last year's team, which finished 12-9 overall (5-7 in the Seminole).  The only one not returning is Lauren Morgan, who is focusing on volleyball.

  • Sports commentary: The Army Team

     

    Go Army!  Beat Navy!

    Next weekend, I'll get to see if yet another of my accursed streaks might come to an end.

    In case you're keeping score at home, my favorite teams have endured the following strings of bad luck:

    -Minnesota Golden Gopher football – Last won the national title in 1960.

    -Buffalo Bills – Nary a Super Bowl win in the team's history.

    -Chicago Cubs – 106 years since they last won a World Series.

    Added to this ignominy are these nuggets:

  • Is hunter training robust enough?

     

    The undisputed goal for hunting safety is zero.

    Anyone associated with the sport wants zero incidents and zero hunting-related fatalities.

    Of course, such a number will likely always be aspirational.  So the realistic goal is to keep the number of incidents and deaths to as low a number as is reasonably possible.

    A cursory glance at the chart below shows that, by and large, Virginia has a notably low rate of hunting incidents.

  • Sports commentary: A mixed bag

     

    What do the following have in common:  limburger cheese, kidney pie, Lady Gaga and the new VHSL playoff structures?

    While you may be tempted to answer:  "They all smell funny," that would be an incorrect answer.

    In order to get a passing grade on this simple test, you'd have to have answered:  "People either love them or they hate them."

  • A special bunch of young ladies

     

    Running is supposed to be an individual thing.  Yet, the Jefferson Forest girls cross country team proved itself to be a team through and through.

    A team of champions.

    Here's how a team wins as a team:  Nearly every JF runner was the top finisher at her position.  That is, Madelynn Knight, the freshman whiz kid, was faster than any other team's second-best runner.

    Alyssa Shupe, who has fought issues with her ankles, was the best third-place team runner.

  • 'State' of euphoria

     

    Those ladies can run!

    The Jefferson Forest girls cross country team capped a superb season by winning the State 4A crown Friday at Great Meadow.

    It was a belated birthday gift to Head Coach Jerome Loy, who marked his special day exactly one week before the meet.

    Most folks check Social Security options on their 65th birthday.  Loy was busy  checking splits.

  • Sports commentary: Local is good

     

    When it comes to college sports, there's something to be said for in-state rivalries.

    Well, at least I hope there is, seeing that I have 20 column inches here that need filling up with thoughts about the topic.

    Check that.  I need to fill  18.5, as I've already used up  a bit with the intro.  And, according to my editor, those (now) 18 inches of writing had better be pretty darn good.

  • Sports commentary: The Tempest

     

    The kerfuffle in Miami got me reminiscing about fifth-grade history class.

    The disturbance to which I refer is the high drama being played out over a couple of offensive linemen, where neither is now suiting up on Sundays.  The culprit appears to be bullying.

    Full disclosure:  I'm a Buffalo Bills fan, and my team has enough of its own problems (such as finding a quarterback who isn't prone to injury).  Still, the two teams play in the same division, so I'm interested.